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This week in club rugby history 20-26 May

Above: The Wellington Axemen and Avalon Wolves Colts sides after their match this week in 2017, in memory of Axemen Colts player Daniel Baldwin who passes away during the week. This week’s round of club rugby in 2017 was dedicated to Baldwin.

In association with the Bond Street Sports Bar on Bond Street in Wellington, some highlights from this week in Wellington club rugby history are below.

20 May

1961: Athletic Park’s biggest crowd for two years watches an eight-try thriller between defending champions Marist and leading contender University. The match, billed between the battle of first five-eighths C.J Stewart (Marist) and Neil Wolfe (University) lives up to its predictions. Marist have what looks like a winning 11-0 at the turn, but University come back and final scoreboard reads Marist 22 – University 17. Stewart and Wolfe have both scored tries.

1994: At Fraser Park, fullback Tony Ward scores four tries in Avalon’s 67-6 win over neighbours Stokes Valley. In two matches at Athletic Park, MSP lead Harlequins 30-0 at halftime but Harlequins come back to win 33-25, and Chris Robinson scores the winning try and 17 points in Wellington’s 22-17 win over Wests.

2017: Today’s Wellington club round round was dedicated to Wellington Axemen Colts player Daniel Baldwin who passed away during the week.Daniel’s Wellington Axemen Colts team played paid tribute to their late friend by producing a determined 23-3 victory over the Avalon Colts in their division 2 fixture .On a heavy surface at home at Hataitai Park, the Wellington forwards were quick to gain the ascendancy and captain and loosehead prop Cameron Rosingrave rumbled over for the first try. In the tightest Swindale Shield match of the round, the Wellington Axemen held on to beat Avalon 32-31, after Avalon’s reserve halfback Damian Madsen scored out wide at the end. Cameron Cross lined up the winning kick but pushed it wide. Earlier, both sides had scored early converted tries and had shaded each other throughout much of the first half. Right wing Henry Hocking scored to push Wellington out to 26-14 at one stage, but the Wolves fought back and their wing Peter Ekevati scored to close the deficit to 32-26.

21 May

1955: Fresh from joining Onslow from Petone, first five-eighth Jackie Dougan helps Onslow to a sensational upset 29-6 win over three-time defending champions University in this fifth round victory. Dougan and hooker Stan Judd were the match winners in this win in front of 7,000 at Athletic Park. Meanwhile, Petone beats Hutt by the same score, 29-6, in front of 5,000 at the Petone Rec to retain the McBain Shield and remain the only unbeaten team so far.

1960: A big early season fixture at Ahtletic Park. The defending champions Petone versus the soon-to-be champions Marist. Led by Wellington representative flanker Don McIntosh, Petone are aided by a second half weather bomb and win 6-0. For Marist, prop and captain Ivan Vodanovich has a blinder.

1977: Marist Hutt Valley account for Wainuiomata 47-0, a highlight being one of wing Bernie Fraser’s two tries when he races the length of the field to score under the posts. Elsewhere, MSP wing Ray Rennell scores a hat-trick in his side’s 46-0 win over another Hutt Valley side, Naenae Old Boys. Athletic, Jubilee Cup champions later this year, are only mid-table in Swindale Shield after overcoming Onslow 9-7 in a desperate struggle.

22 May

1965: Marist wing Pat Myers scores four tries in his side’s 31-0 over Poneke and B.H. Bockett scores a hat-trick for University in their 33-3 win over St Pat’s Old Boys. Both these games are played at the Basin Reserve.

1982: Upper Hutt’s ‘Slammin’ Sammy’ Sam McLean helps his side beat Porirua 23-3 and in the process becomes the first player this season to notch a century of points. He has so far scored 103 of Upper Hutt’s 150 points in nine games.

1993: By their own admission, MSP have flown under the radar this year. But no longer, as they thrash Norths 45-9 in second round Jubilee Cup action today. Meanwhile, joint  favourites Avalon and Petone both win well. Avalon beats Tawa 34-9 and Petone defeats Hutt Old Boys 47-16.

2004: Petone surge toward the top of the table with a 26-0 win over previous leaders Northern United. Front rankers Neemia Tialata and Eugene Smith are at the forefront of a powerful scrum as Petone score three converted tries and lead 21-0 at halftime. Petone are now third behind HOBM and Poneke after HOBM beat OBU 20-10 and Poneke defeat Johnsonville 39-13. Petone goes on to win the 2004 Swindale Shield.

23 May

1947: Onslow are now the only unbeaten side left in the championship after lowering St Pat’s Old Boys 13-11. In a lively game, St Pat’s very nearly snatches victory at the death but for an awkward pass going to ground with the defence beaten. Elsewhere, the Wellington Axemen are upset 12-11 by Johnsonville, whose loose forwards play well against the bigger Wellington pack. The Axemen go on to play the entire second round unbeaten, including beating Onslow in a key return encounter, and win their second Jubilee Cup after winning their first in 1939.

1953: Leaders University make it five from five with Ron Jarden scoring 14 of his side’s points in their 17-6 win over Poneke. But if Poneke kicker E. Calcanai hadn’t of missed six ‘handy’ shots on goal it would’ve been a different story.

1948: Marist Brothers Old Boys stage a late run to beat Onslow at Athletic Park. Marist win the match three tries to nil, but penalties late in the game (tries are worth three points) keep Onslow right in the contest. After five rounds of the 1948 Jubilee Cup, Marist Brothers Old Boys, Petone and Athletic are tied at the top of the table. Marist goes on to beat Athletic later in the season in the ‘Final’ to secure their maiden Jubilee Cup title. They will win it again two years later.

1987: Star Ories fullback John Gallagher is away with the All Blacks at the inaugural Rugby World Cup. In his absence, fullback Tony O’Malley lands two key penalties for Ories in their  6-4 win over previously unbeaten Wellington. The Axemen’s loss means Petone are the only unbeaten side after eight rounds, after Petone have beaten University 31-13.

1992: Upper Hutt come back from 0-12 down at halftime to beat Poneke 13-12. Brothers Tim and Bojo Koreke score second half tries for Upper Hutt, who move to second spot behind Petone who hammer MSP 37-7. Elsewhere, new club Harlequins post their 10th straight win in the Premier 2 grade and are destined to earn promotion to the top flight.

24 May

1997: HOBM clinch the Swindale Shield with two rounds remaining, beating Wellington 33-25. Their triumph, however, is overshadowed somewhat by Avalon’s 71-11 thrashing of an understrength Petone side that is missing several players to representative duty. Avalon crush Petone up front and win easily.

2003: Northern United win their maiden Swindale Shield title, beating Wests 35-21. Twinkle-toed fullback Tainafi Patu ‘s brilliance was the difference, Norths pulling away after leading 10-6 just before halftime.  A bumper crowd at Porirua Park saluted their heroes in jubilant scenes afterwards.  For Wests, defeat was a double blow, pipped for the eighth and final place in the Jubilee Cup by Upper Hutt who celebrated captain Nathan Russell’s 150th game by beating Ories 26-23.

25 May

1940: German Panzers are sweeping through Northern France, but in Wellington Johnsonville hit the lead in the first round of the Jubilee Cup club championship, beating previous leaders Athletic 11-8 in the match of the week at Athletic Park. It’s a battle between the forward orientated Johnsonville and the pulsating play of Athletic’s backs. Athletic lead 5-0 at halftime, but Johnsonville comes back in the second half. Athletic have the final say later in the season, however, powering to the title.

1985: Returning from a stint playing in Italy, Wellington Axemen sharpshooter Evan Hopkin scores a try and kicks two conversions to put Wellington ahead of MSP 19-0 after 30 minutes in their Athletic Park feature match. Wellington go on to win 29-9 and are clear favourites to retain the Swindale Shield this season.

1996: Northern United snatch a last-gasp 27-26 win over Harlequins to maintain their bid to make the Jubilee Cup round. Halfback Josh Loughnan scores the winning try. Another halfback, John Clarke, scores a hat-trick for Wests in their 23-13 win over Poneke.

26 May

1934: The Dominion reports that “in a historic struggle on the Hutt Recreational Ground and in the presence of one of the largest gatherings of spectators that has ever witnessed a Rugby match there, Hutt emerged victorious over Petone by a single point.” The occasion? The first ever McBain Shield clash. Hutt won 6-5 in a tremendous struggle. A scoreless first half gives way to a converted try to Petone and a penalty to Hutt as Petone take a 5-3 lead. Hutt fullback Nees is the hero, scoring the winning try late in the contest.

1976: Petone’s 27-13 win over University features one of the great tries scored on Athletic Park, according to Petone captain Andy Leslie. The try is scored by University fullback Peter Garty who finishes of a sweeping 80-metre movement. Elsewhere, Swindale Shield newcomers Wainuiomata upset Athletic 18-17.

1984: In the biggest upset of the season so far, Western Suburbs tip up MSP 17-13. Prop Scott Crichton is the Man of the Match as Wests win the Viv Haigh Memorial Trophy. Meanwhile the Dominion proclaims an orgy of scoring as Petone beat Titahi Bay 77-6. Mike Clamp scores four tries and Marty Clamp and Graheme Duffy score hat-tricks.

1990: Avalon’s physio had to strap 13 of 15 players to get them on the field last week. Still racked with injuries, Avalon’s patched up team cruise to an 18-3 win over contenders Hutt Old Boys in round nine today. Neighbours Upper Hutt lose to MSP  12-26 – but will go on to claim the Swindale Shield.

2001: Leaders MSP lose 30-29, opening the door for second placed Avalon to hit the lead and all but win the Swindale Shield. However, Avalon miss their chance and lose to Johnsonville 20-21. It’s a tough defeat for their supporters after Johnsonville’s Corey Burt lands a 45-metre winning penalty with time almost up.

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